Addition of electric water heater

We have oil fired central heating but we have never used it except to heat the water. We have not refilled our oil tank as we intend to install an electric water heater. It’s now down to 250 litres which I thought was still ok but the boiler thought otherwise and has stopped working. So we now have no hot water. Now I thought that we could just switch off the boiler, leave it where it is and have the water heater installed somewhere else on the system. According to our latest quote this is not so and that the existing pipework iof the boiler would need to be modified . He’s given us a quote 1800 euros for a 100l water heater and to take the existing boiler away. If he left the boiler where it is it would cost us 1600 euros. Is this a fair price? I don’t understand why the existing boiler needs to be modified

1k to fit new elec 200l water heater replacing the oil boiler (boiler staying for heating). All bits included was the quote I got.

Labour was 350’ish.

But it’s literally next to the existing boiler so there’s no major plumbing.

Check the oil filter - there’s two pipes run to the boiler. There should be a filter on the line. Turn oil off at the filter - unscrew the filter - clean - and see if that fixes it.

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Is this it

Yes looks like the filter.
As for the boiler, why it’s not working is either:
Mechanical, blocked filter so no fuel getting to the burner, or blocked jet. Circulation pump blocked or no current getting to it.
Electric / electronic:
No current or electronic card up the spout.

As for fitting and new hot water tank. Electric current to it, dedicated.
You can buy a 150-200L HWT for anywhere between 200-300€, add another 100€ if the plumber buys it for you, you’ll also need a couple of vannes anti retours/ (back flow prevention valves) if you want to keep the option of using the boiler add a couple of isolation valves (a couple more if you install a bypass) and the piping. Any plumber or heating engineer should be able to do the job in about half a day.

Thanks both. I cleaned the filter and to my amazement it’s going again so that gives us more time to get more devis . My gut feeling was 1600 or 1800 euros was way too high


Probably the English price.

You shouldn’t necessarily have to take the oil burner out, but there would be some reconfiguration of the water supply pipes, and I suppose that might add to the cost if the new electric heater is not close to the oil burner, but still that is a bit steep. For the blockage, you might also want to see if the uptake hose filter that dips into the oil tank isn’t blocked with particles. In old tanks, when you get near the bottom, you can get sediment being sucked onto, and eventually, blocking the uptake hose, causing the burner to switch off. My previous oil heater was notorious for doing this, even though I had a fair supply of fuel left in the tank, but then both it, and the tank were over 40 years old.

If it’s blocked once it may do so again. If you dip the tank you’ll see how high the oil is. If its inches deep you’ll get sediment problems repeatedly.

If you can get some decent size containers - there’s usually somewhere with a fuel oil “pump” - some l’eclercs - some oil suppliers (ours is a wine warehouse …) - you can buy smaller amounts to avoid the minimum oil delivery

The oil tank is underground. One of the first things the estate agent said to us was that it didn’t leak. So I’ve always had my suspicions about it. It seems likely that it was made at the same time as the house was built which was 1970. One reason for discontinuing with the central heating. Anyway we’ve had our 3rd devis which we’re likely to accept 1200 euros. All quotes have been from french plumbers. Interestingly the two quotes we rejected the plumbers have come back with reduced quotes. So is it normal to negotiate on the quotes or are they just desperate for work?